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You're watching multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. American Atheists Incorporated paid 20,000 dollars last week to display this billboard on a New Jersey highway. The billboard claims the story of Christmas is a myth and urges people to “celebrate reason.” (Video) Catholic League president Bill Donohue tells the Brooklyn Heights Courier this billboard is the first shot fired in this year’s war on Christmas. “American Atheists has a special hatred of Christianity, and that is why it seizes on the Christmas season ..." American Atheists president David Silverman responds, saying he’s tired of having the War on Christmas pinned on atheists, and tells the Daily Mail it’s time to strike back. We get blamed for a war on Christmas every year. This time we’re actually going to pay attention to that … We’re actually going to earn a little bit of that.” And he tells Fox News: “People need to understand that while Christmas is a Christian holiday, the season belongs to everyone...the ones who are saying ‘you can’t say happy holidays you have to say merry Christmas because this is our season - this is the Christmas season. Well,’ it’s not the Christmas season, It’s the solstice season. And that’s why it’s not a war on Christmas - it’s a war on the solstice, and the Christians started it.” Regardless of who fired the first shots, some atheists are saying the billboard is still in bad taste. A blogger for The Stir says it casts atheists in a bad light. “I'm not a fan of the billboard as it stands -- not because it might offend Christians, but because I don't think it represents atheism fairly. I don't believe in the mystical aspects of the story of Jesus' birth, but that's not why I'm atheist. Nor do I wish to dissuade Christians from believing. Religion is a personal matter.” But Silverman maintains that the billboard isn’t meant to be destructive to beliefs - he tells WNYW it’s aimed at the “closet atheists,” who shouldn’t feel alone this holiday season. “The intent here is not to convert Christians. The intent here is to get atheists going through the motions and pretending to be religious to stop, come out of the closet, and be honest with themselves.” In the midst of the controversy over the billboards’ existence, some Christians are taking time to debate the sign’s actual message, saying that reason and religion can go together. A writer for Catholic Online writes... “The real irony of their campaign is found in setting our faith against reason. For the Catholic mind, reason does not lead you away from the manger but toward it...Celebrate reason? No thank you. Celebrate with reason? Absolutely!” So what do you think? Free country to say and think what you wish? Or is this a war on Christmas? Get more multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. Transcript by Newsy.
2 Dec 2010
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You're watching multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. A new alcoholic beverage is sweetening the market and it’s got college students, parent groups and federal officials all whipped up. Whipped Lightning, or what the cool kids are calling "Whipahol," is an alcoholic whipped cream. A reporter for WLNE already has questions about its legality. “I’m a little confused by this. Is this...is that drinking in public? Do police agencies know to look for people walking down the street with cans that look like hairspray? What if I get pulled over with an open container of alcoholic infused whipped cream? Will I go to jail?” This infused cream comes to liquor stores at a time when another alcoholic product, Four Loko, is being banned by the federal government. Still, the creator of the whipped topping tells CNBC, his desert topping targets an older demographic, and not the college crowd. “Most importantly also the product is a distilled spirit. It’s regulated by the federal government and all of the states, only sold where licensed alcoholic beverages can be sold. That’s first and foremost this first way and the most important way to keep these products out of the hands of underage consumers.” The whipped cream comes in flavors like amaretto, German chocolate, and strawberry colada, and costs roughly $10 at liquor stores. The alcohol content is a stout 18 per cent - that’s more than three times the amount in most beers. College students are at least curious about the new alcoholic concoction, but one student tells WFXT the product won’t follow the same track as the alcoholic energy drinks. “You know my friends who have talked about it have said, you know, oh maybe I’ll buy it just for fun and see what it’s all about, but I don’t think anyone is taking it too seriously. ... I think people are making it a big deal because it’s the new alcoholic product since the ban of Four Loko.” And a writer for The Stir says it’s impossible to dodge the younger crowd’s curiosity. “It's just yet another alcoholic beverage that kids will likely get their hands on. Whatev. That's life. Just be sure to double-check the whipped cream in the fridge before topping off your sundae.” Students are being warned about adding the whipped topping to drinks like Jell-O shots, where the alcohol flavor is already masked. So -- like the idea of whipped and spiked? Or -- keep it pure? Get more multisource US video news analysis from Newsy.
2 Dec 2010
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3:06
You're watching multisource politics news videos from Newsy The Pentagon has just released a major review of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy which bans openly gay members from serving in the military. According to CNN, the study found repealing the 17-year-old ban would have a limited effect on unit cohesion outside of a few isolated disruptions. It also believes those events would not last long nor be widespread. It suggests the ban could be repealed, even during war. Despite those findings, critics are convinced the ban is working and support keeping it in place. Listen to what Senator John McCain told Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union. “The military is at its highest point in recruitment, in retention, in professionalism, in capability. So to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false." Senator Claire McCaskill shot back at McCain on Fox News - saying it’s time to end the ban now. "I think that we should move forward to make sure that any person who stands up and says, 'I'm willing to die for our country' can do so with honor." The strongest resistance to overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell comes from the Marine Corps. But when you take into account all branches of the military -- around 70 percent of military respondents said they have no strong objections to lifting the ban or serving with openly gay members. Just 40 percent of Marines felt the same way. Marine Corps Commandant James Amos has been vocal about his concerns-- saying he thinks dropping DADT would hurt unit cohesion. “There is nothing more intimate than combat and I want to make that point crystal clear...we’re talking our young men laying out, sleeping alongside of one another, and sharing death and fear and the loss of their brothers.” But Cynthia Tucker says in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution it’s time for the Marines -- and Amos -- to fall in line. She says the same argument was made about integration during the Korean War. “When President Truman ordered that the military be integrated...there were dire predictions about military readiness. Now, black soldiers, sailors and airmen are among the most respected officers in the service." But an analyst on MSNBC explains why he thinks Marines are more resistant about a repeal. “You have a unit that’s traditionally much closer and listen much more to its commanders. So when you have commanders publicly raising concerns and being a little more skeptical about doing this it’s understandable you would have more Marines expressing concern.” Despite the study findings, some are attacking the results. In the Wall Street Journal, California Representative Buck McKeon says, he’d like to know who the 70 percent of respondents were. “The release of the Pentagon's report are the first steps in what should be a comprehensive process to study whether implementing these recommendations would undermine military readiness or negatively impact the war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq." But, a writer for Washington Monthly says, with this study, the time for excuses are over. “We now know a majority of U.S. troops, a majority of U.S. civilians, a majority of the House, a majority of the Senate, the Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs are all ready to see DADT repeal move forward. If John McCain and other anti-gay senators hoped to gain some leverage, those hopes were in vain.” Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
2 Dec 2010
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You're watching multisource tech video news analysis from Newsy. You know them -- as cookies. Some critics -- find them hard to stomach. The online tracking technology has been getting a bad rap, despite some of the benefits. Now, Mozilla says, it can crumble those cookies, and make ‘em go away -- for good. Mozilla is brewing up something that could put an end to the plug-in poison. “Mozilla is considering building a ‘do not track’ feature into the FireFox browser. This would be a code built into the browser that broadcasts a message to advertising companies and tracking companies telling them it is not okay to follow you around the web in order to learn your habits.” (CNET) What some consider -- sneaky and invasive, others embrace as commerce. Co-founder of the Spread Firefox project Asa Dotzler voices his outrage on the Mozilla blog. “Why do Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others think that it is an OK practice to add plug-ins to Firefox when I'm installing their software packages...This is not OK behavior...Microsoft, stop being evil. Apple, stop being evil. Google, stop being evil. And you upstarts like RockMelt, don't follow in those evil footsteps. It's not worth it.” The Wall Street Journal, which did a study on online tracking technology on various websites, says blocking technology could lead to something worse. “One advertising executive at a company called BetterAdvertising called up and said that he thought that this was going to cause some legitimate problems he was concerned about. He said that it would force advertisers to use sneakier techniques. And that is true, that like with all of these issues everyone has to agree to comply, then there are going to be some bad actors who don’t agree to comply.” A blogger for Minyaville doesn’t see the problem getting any better, so he proposes an alternative strategy. “Since there’s clearly no way to beat the prying eyes of the online ad-industry, the best way to fight back is to just confuse the hell out of them. I’m going to start by conducting numerous searches for things I actually don’t care about at all, including, but not limited to: kittens, farm supplies, The University of Maryland, soccer, and salad recipes.” The Federal Trade Commission is planning on implementing an industry-wide standard that will promote a do-not-track system. And a House of Representatives subcommittee on consumer protection will hear do-not-track proposals from Mozilla and an online advertising firm. Get more multisource tech video news analysis from Newsy. Transcript by Newsy.
2 Dec 2010
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You're watching multisource politics news from Newsy Some two million Americans are set to lose their jobless benefits after Congress failed to extend $12.5 billion in unemployment aid. The vote fell largely along party lines -- with Republicans arguing any extension of benefits should not raise the nation’s $1.3 trillion deficit. (Video from C-SPAN) SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R-Mass.): “The decision is not whether we should extend the benefits, it’s how we should pay for them.” Still - unless Congress acts quickly on a compromise bill - the holidays look especially grim for the long-term unemployed. WHTM and ABC and break down numbers they say forecast gloomy days ahead. WHTM: “The Labor Department estimates 635,000 people could lose all benefits by December 11th, and more than 1.6 million by Christmas.” ABC: “For every five unemployed people, there's just one job opening.” Despite deficit concerns - WFTS and KDFW suggest failure to extend jobless benefits could actually hurt the economy. WFTS: “...the jobless tend to spend every dollar they get, which totals about $65 billion.” KDFW, BUD WEINSTEIN: “Without question, if you reduce the spending power of 5 million Americans, that's going to affect the entire economy.” According to a MarketWatch blog - some analysts say unemployment benefits would do more for the economy than the extension of tax cuts. “Each dollar the federal government spends today on extending unemployment benefits will raise gross domestic product by $1.60 a year from now. ... That ‘bang-for-the-buck’ compares with, for example, just 35 cents per dollar for making the Bush-era tax cuts permanent.” But Bloomberg’s Brian Faler says - the jury’s still out on that one. “It is ‘unclear’ whether the aid extensions have contributed to the unemployment rate that stood at 9.6 percent in October... while aid dissuades some unemployed Americans from searching for work, it also boosts demand for goods and services, which tends to boost employment.” There IS still a possibility benefits could be extended, though. Some Democrats are calling for the provision to be included in a deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts. Congress has extended the total amount of aid three times since December of 2007. Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
2 Dec 2010
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Transcript by Newsy BY UNA LU You're watching multisource health news analysis Is sharing human breast milk a good idea? Groups dedicated to sharing and using donated breast milk are fast-growing on Facebook. But U.S. and Canadian officials are raising a red flag over the practice. CTV reports the health authorities ‘concerns. “TheCanadian Pediatric Society wants to see a milk bank in every province, but it must be patronized breast milk and mothers will have to be screened just like we screen blood donors. Recently Health Canada has issue advising parents not to get any donated breast milk via internet because no one could guarantee its safe.” What’s the potential risk? EmaxHealth details the FDA’s statement. “These risks include exposure to infectious diseases, including HIV, to chemical contaminants, such as some illegal drugs, and to a limited number of prescription drugs that might be in the human milk” Calling the warnings unnecessary, breast milk-share advocate Emma Kwasnica tells Toronto Sun, there’s nothing to worry about. “Women have been wet nursing each other's babies for eons…Women don't want to be feeding their babies powder infant formula, and they want help so we're working together as mothers.” Advocates say, in some cases, babies have no time to waste. A mom who has nursing problem tells the Toronto Star, the risk is worth taking. “It’s a risk, but I made that choice. Sometimes we (receiver and donor) just have to stick together, despite the critics or the controversy it might cause.” Question is - could milk banks meet the demand? According to Vancouver Sun, Canada has only one milk bank and the U.S. doesn’t have many more. The Chicago Tribune says: “Just 10 milk banks are operating in the U.S., and demand far outstrips supply. Premature infants are especially in need of donated breast milk” The FDA plans to release documents related to breast milk donations and banking. So what do you think? Got -- breast milk? And if you don’t -- wanna share? Get more multisource video newsy analysis from Newsy
3 Dec 2010
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1:53
Transcript by Newsy BY CHANCE SEALES You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy Some people like butter – others, jelly. But two Oklahoma ladies like boots in their rolls. It’s hard to believe – and even grosser to imagine. KFOR has the juicy details. REPORTER: “Police say it was at this TJ Maxx that loss prevention officers found the duo stuffing items under their belly fat and breasts.” POLICE OFFICER: “One of the individual had three boots concealed underneath her breast and bra.” Believe it. The women lifted $2600 worth of merchandise in all. But anchors on HLN and WJBK can’t get over the big-ticket item – boots. HLN MEADE: “Four pairs of boots! Boots. Three pairs of jeans, wallet and gloves.” MEADE: “Well my goodness! Either those are small boots—wow! Okay, I can’t see any of this, but the jeans you can fold, the wallet is tiny. Boots (whispered)…” WJBK FEMALE ANCHOR: “I find that hard to believe. I mean, you’ve got to be packing some pounds. I mean, four pairs of boots?!” MALE ANCHOR: “But see, you can pat down at the airport, but not in the store.” The footwear didn’t escape others’ attention. Writers at The Huffington Post and Racked ask if the strategy is worth its weight in boots. THE HUFFINGTON POST: “…[W]hat we want to know is were they ankle boots? Or over-the-knee?” RACKED: “[I]t got us thinking… we might be able to get away with a Repetto ballet flat—or something along those lines—probably not a full-blown boot, though, and definitely not, say, an Ugg boot.” Good point. Finally, a WTXF reporter suggests the perfect item to shoplift with their sizable sticky fingers. “The world’s biggest pants unveiled see the XXXXXXXXXL underwear.” “Women wearing those, boy, they could do some big time shoplifting. They could probably shoplift a car off Kerbeck Cadillac’s shop.” One bright point: prison jump suits are free. The two now face felony shoplifting charges. (pause) We’re still thinking about those boots… (SOC) Get multisource video news analysis from Newsy
3 Dec 2010
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2:40
Transcript by Newsy BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN You're watching multisource politics news from Newsy There was the Tea Party. Then the Coffee Party. Now -- the Tequila Party? KPHO: “Some Latino leaders are floating the idea of cutting ties with the Democratic Party and launching a so-called ‘Tequila Party.’” But the only shots in this party would be jabs at the political establishment -- who Latino leaders say are taking Latino voters for granted. The man behind the idea -- Fernando Romero -- is president of the non-profit ‘Hispanics in Politics’. Although nothing’s for sure - he says there’s - quote - “definitely talk” among Latino leaders. Fox News explains, he had some caffeinated inspiration. “We were impressed, like I think everyone else was, by the strength the Tea Party showed. And we thought, ‘Why not do, basically, the same thing?’” But as KSWB reports - the tequila party wouldn’t be the same thing -- it would have a pretty specific focus. “Leaders say they are frustrated with the Democrats’ lack of action on immigration reform. They say the Tequila Party would be similar in organization, but would not share the same political views as the Tea Party.” Frustration with the lack of comprehensive immigration reform is not a new sentiment coming from Latino voters frustrated with both Republican and Democratic inaction. On the heels of November’s mid-term elections - political action committee Latinos for Reform made a controversial appeal to Latino voters. “This November we need to send a message to all politicians. If they didn’t keep their promise on immigration reform, then they can’t count on our vote. ... Don’t vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message: You can no longer take us for granted.” But an Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog says branching off into a separate party isn’t the answer -- and the Tequila Party won’t have the same success as the Tea Party. “The tequila party ... seems to be trying to get an entire racial group to subscribe to the same (Democratic/liberal) view of a policy, immigration reform. … the authenticity and free form of the tea-party model is going to be a tough one for a lot of groups to copy if they are really just trying to get people to circle back to the same place.” Still -- BV Black Spin’s Dr. Boyce Watkins says it’s not a bad idea -- one the African American community should watch closely. “Black people have been long frustrated by the fact that Democrats have failed to deliver for our community... we might be wise to at least consider joining forces with the Hispanic community to find ways to promote our common interests.” (He does have one bone to pick though --) “...I hope they change the name from Tequila Party to something else. The last thing we need to do is promote another stereotype.” The idea IS still fermenting though. Romero says he doesn’t know if it’ll ever happen -- but told the Las Vegas Sun if immigration reform is shelved one more time -- Latino leaders would “have to do something.” Get multisource video news analysis from Newsy
3 Dec 2010
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Transcript by Newsy BY KYRSTEN SKULBORSTAD You're watching multisource world news from Newsy Julian Assange is a man on the run. Interpol has placed him on its wanted list for alleged sexual assault in Sweden, and did so shortly after the Australian native released thousands of secret documents through his whistleblower website, Wikileaks. Now, Assange finds himself in the crosshairs of public officials around the world. NBC Nightly News’ Lisa Meyers describes Assange’s recent measures to protect himself from those outraged by his disclosure of sensitive documents. Lisa Meyers: “Julian Assange is a man without a home, who lives the life of the hunted, changing his appearance, using false names and encrypted cell phones to avoid detection.” Some have even suggested -- Assange be killed. Tom Flanagan is one such individual. In an interview on CBC, the professor and former senior advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Assange should be gunned down. Tom Flanagan: “Well I think Assange should be assassinated actually. I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something. There is no good coming of this.” Flanagan later apologized for his comments. But radio host and Watergate mastermind G. Gordon Liddy shared similar sentiments with World Net Daily. “This fellow Anwar al-Awlaki – a joint U.S. citizen hiding out in Yemen – is on a 'kill list' [for inciting terrorism against the U.S.]. Mr. Assange should be put on the same list." The main question now? CNN asks - is Wikileaks a whistleblower website or a news organization, which would provide it different protection from the U.S. Constitution? U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says it’s the former, and that the site and its founder committed criminal acts the U.S. will prosecute. Reporter: “Can you prosecute Wikileaks because they didn’t steal the document? They only published them.” Lawyer: “Well it is a crime to pass along classified information, even if you are not the original source of it. But you’re right, the case is a lot more complicated than people think.” According to Assange’s lawyer, the whole situation is a mess. He says Interpol knows where to find his client for questioning, but prosecutors have yet to pursue that option. And, according to recent reports, official charges relating to the Wikileaks documents have yet to be brought against Assange. MARK STEPHENS: “Never before have I come across a prosecutor who has behaved like this. This is a persecution, not a prosecution.” In an previous interview with ABC, Assange says freedom of speech is what Wikileaks is fighting for. “The U.S. Free speech tradition is one of our biggest supporters. In some ways, what we are doing is taking the First Amendment and giving it to the world.” But in a comment on RT, one user speculates... “I wonder how long Mr Assange will survive this, because he's a thorn in the flesh of the powerful.” So, what do you think will -- or should -- be the fate of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange? Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy
3 Dec 2010
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2:38
Transcript by Newsy BY TRACY PFEIFFER You're watching multisource science news analysis from Newsy The web was abuzz Thursday with speculation NASA would announce it had discovered alien life on Earth. But when the press conference came around -- turns out the answer is... sort of. Scientists discovered a type of microbe that can replace the phosphorous in its DNA with arsenic -- and survive, something no known organism has ever done before. The bacterium was found at the bottom of Mono Lake in eastern California, which has one of the highest naturally-occurring concentrations of arsenic in the world. (Video: NASA) Prior to the discovery, biologists believed life was composed exclusively of six elements: phosphorous, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur. A writer for The New York Times explains how arsenic fits -- or doesn’t fit -- for those of us who weren’t paying that close of attention in chemistry class. “Arsenic sits right beneath phosphorus in the periodic table of the elements. … Indeed, that chemical closeness is what makes it toxic ... allowing it to slip easily into a cell’s machinery where it then gums things up, like bad oil in a car engine.” But why does the discovery matter? On CNN, Bill Nye explains. NYE: “See, you and I, everything you’ve ever met, except these microbes, relies on the same type of DNA, which has some phosphates. (FLASH) This idea that it’s possible to substitute things changes the way we look at living things and changes the way we think about what’s possible.” VELSHI: “It’s like, what you thought of the possible world has now just been expanded.” But while many applaud the results of the study as a complete game-changer, some are still doubtful. A writer for Popular Science writes... “To be clear, the scientists made this happen in a lab. They removed phosphorus from the bacteria’s environment and enriched it with arsenic. It was a complex game of chemistry that yielded strange results.” An anchor for Los Angeles’ KABC felt let down after the flurry of speculation that NASA had actually found life from another planet. “Doesn’t that seem a little anti-climactic? I mean they made the big announcement this morning, ‘Oh, here we are, it’s gonna be out there, we’re going to find life.’ And then it’s here. So the aliens are in us, not among us. But The Washington Post’s Melissa Bell says that’s the wrong way of looking at the announcement -- This is HUGE. “Before you get disappointed, realize that while not as sexy as a little green man, it is a big deal. No other life form exists off arsenic. ...This discovery shows [as a NASA biochemist put it] ‘life-as-we-know-it could be much more flexible than we generally assume or can imagine’...” So what do you think? Does this discovery change life as we know it, or are you still disappointed NASA didn’t announce it had finally gotten hold of E.T.? Get more video news analysis from Newsy
4 Dec 2010
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Transcript from Newsy BY STEVEN SPARKMAN You're watching multisource entertainment news from Newsy The governor of Kentucky announced plans for a $150 million theme park based on a literal reading of the Bible’s book of Genesis. Governor Steve Beshear held a press conference alongside representatives from Ark Encounters, LLC, and Answers in Genesis, the two organizations collaborating on the project. The park is scheduled to include a first-century style village, a replica of the Tower of Babel, children’s play areas and petting zoos, and the main attraction: a full-size Noah’s Ark based on Biblical descriptions. (Images: Ark Encounter) The park is expected to take part in Kentucky's tourism development program, allowing it to recoup 25% of its construction costs in sales tax rebates. The tax incentive has secularist groups warning about possible church/state violations. On MSNBC, radio host Sam Seder notes parks for other religions wouldn’t bring enough tourism to qualify for breaks, making the situation tricky. “The real question is could another religion actually build their own theme park? Would they qualify for this type of subsidy? … Is it in practice actually discriminatory, because only a Christian theme-park could actually qualify for these subsidies in practice." The governor responded to a similar question, arguing the Kentucky tourism law is religiously neutral and has been used by other organizations like NASCAR. “This is an application for a theme park. The law doesn’t allow us to discriminate about the entertainment subject matter of theme parks as long as it’s legal and in good taste." Another legal difficulty is whether the park can hire on the basis of religion. Answers in Genesis’ other attraction, a creation-themed museum, requires employees to provide a signed statement of belief, according to its website. Employees must support the organization’s statement of faith, including “The great Flood of Genesis was an actual historic event,” “Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment,” and “The only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.” The for-profit Ark Encounter would likely run into legal challenges if they tried to enforce similar hiring rules. But while legal problems may face the park down the road, the governor is facing criticism over his involvement with the project now. Critics of Answers in Genesis often use Photoshop to portray politicians associated with the group riding dinosaurs. The group maintains humans and dinosaurs coexisted, and that dinosaurs will be included on the park’s ark model. This batch of images from the Kentucky-centric blog Barefoot and Progressive, shows it’s the governor’s turn on dinoback. The blog goes on to say: “I just got back from the press conference where Steve Beshear announced his enthusiastic support for a Creationist theme park… Be ashamed, Kentucky. Be very ashamed.” So should the park be given tax breaks in the name of tourism? Should it be allowed to hire based on religion? Does the governor look good on a triceratops? So many thorny issues to tackle; tackle them in our comments section. Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy
4 Dec 2010
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3:07
Transcript by Newsy BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN You're watching multisource global video news analysis from Newsy. SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I-Conn.): “And we've got to apprehend Mr. Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, and bring him to justice as a violator of the espionage act because if we don’t, this will keep happening.” U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman is calling for his head. He -- is Julian Assange -- already wanted by Interpol in connection with rape charges -- now ABC reports, a group of U.S. senators want him prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917. “... which criminalizes obtaining or communicating information used to the injury of the United States -- as well as laws that bar gathering and transmitting national defense information.” But can they? That’s the tricky question. TIME’s Rick Stengel tells Bloomberg - legal analysts admit the more than 90-year-old law could be at odds with the First Amendment. “...A lot of courts and even the Supreme Court seemed to think is too broad in its definition of what is secret and what is damaging to U.S. interests. ... There are cases where those competing values of what's in the Espionage Act and the First Amendment, and it will be interesting to see how that's decided.” And Julian Assange is something of a First Amendment absolutist -- in previous interviews saying what he’s doing -- essentially -- is putting the First Amendment in the people’s hands. But that isn’t stopping the E-word from blanketing media coverage. CNN: “If you want to look for bipartisanship though, everyone thinks it's missing in Washington, this is it. ... This is espionage. This is top secrets that have been released. This has jeopardized lives.” MSNBC: “Let's call it what it is: Spying, espionage...” Fox News: “Is the new journalism, just the old espionage?” But Fox News’ senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano is calling for cooler heads to prevail -- saying it isn’t Assange who should be prosecuted -- it’s the people who leak the documents in the first place. He says Wikileaks is protected as a media organization. “...The person in the media who publishes the document, as long as the document is of public interest, cannot be prosecuted and cannot be sued.” CARLSON: “Under the espionage law?” NAPOLITANO: “Under any law. Because the Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment to be the press. You and me are the eyes and ears of America.” CARLSON: “So what can they prosecute him with? What law?” NAPOLITANO: “Nothing.” But The Daily Beast’s Stephen Carter says that isn’t the issue - the U.S. could very well convict Assange -- but that doesn’t mean it should. “Assange is a maker of mischief ... exposing confidential material because he can. … But acting callously ... ought not to be criminal... … Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy, and should be carefully nourished, not scared into hiding.” Finally - in a provocative piece for the Christian Science Monitor -- Peter Grier wonders if Assange is already secretly under indictment. “It’s certainly possible. … A judge could order an indictment of Assange sealed until such time as the U.S. is able to apprehend him... The purpose of such secrecy would be to keep the WikiLeaks chief from going even further underground.” Three U.S. senators -- John Ensign, Scott Brown, and Joe Lieberman -- are all proposing legislation that would make it easier for federal authorities to go after those who leak confidential U.S. documents. But tell us what you think -- Espionage -- or a fair exercise of Free Speech? Get more multisource global video news analysis from Newsy.
4 Dec 2010
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Transcript by Newsy BY CHARLIE MCKEAGUE You're watching multisource technology news analysis from Newsy Search results – the recipe for success for online merchants. The higher the ranking – potentially the more hits and sales. Turns out -- it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad attention, as long as you’re getting attention. The New York Times published an story about a man - Vitaly Borker - selling counterfeit eyeglasses - and one victims’ unusual experience. That same man revealed that on Google – bad business is actually good business. The amazing part of the story is that Borker - actually went out of his way to irritate customers. HLN explains. “He literally wrote messages to customers like, I’m watching you, with a picture of their apartment building. And you put your hand in the fire, now it’s time to get burned. And he said the more complaints he got, quote ‘the more hits and sales I get.’” He believes that the negative comments about his company - in turn increased his page rank. He was quoted in The New York Times as saying... "I've exploited this opportunity because it works … No matter where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment. So I decided, why not use that negativity to my advantage?" Google initially denied their algorithms could make something like this possible – but it has since announced it’s making changes to weed out bad business practices. Forbes brings a part of the statement. “We were horrified to read about Ms. Rodriguez’s dreadful experience. … we immediately convened a team that looked carefully at the issue. That team developed an initial algorithmic solution, implemented it, and the solution is already live.” Borker says that it’s not possible to shut someone down on the internet -- and there are ways around everything. But according to WGCL, online shoppers can solve the problem by being smarter. “The last thing you want to do is just go and Google a name of a company, and just because they come up in the top doesn’t mean that is the place you should shop. Search engine optimization is where people pay money to be on top of the list and just because you pay a lot of money doesn’t mean you give the best customer service, and the biggest rip-offs can be found there.” CNET quotes Google’s spam czar who says that Google is always making changes to its formulas – and that the Times story brought to light a serious problem. “Google is constantly tweaking the search algorithm that has made it billions, averaging more than one change a day… Some are obviously bigger than others, however: few changes get their own blog post.” Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy
4 Dec 2010
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Transcript by Newsy BY UNA LU You're watching multisource current video news analysis from Newsy. Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? This time of year, the salutation you give -- can cause anything from warmth -- to a downright chill. Case in point? A Christmas battle caused by the name change for the annual parade of lights in Tulsa, Oklahoma. MSNBC reports why a 70-year-old traditional event became a hot spot. “Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe is threatening to boycott Tulsa’s annual holiday parade of lights unless the organizers put Christmas back into the title. Quote, here’s his words: ‘Last year, the forces of political correctness removed the word ‘Christmas’ and replaced it with ‘Holiday’ instead … until the parade is again named the Christmas parade of lights, I will not participate.’” Tulsa Council Chair Rick Westcott agrees with Inhoffe, telling the Tulsa World he will vote “NO” on the event’s official application. That could lead to the parade being postponed. “All of the people who have contacted me are offended by the removal of Christmas from the name, and all of them want it brought back.” Others say Christians aren’t the only ones celebrating the season. A supporter of the new title comments on Tulsa’s KOKI. “There is a big discussion on our Facebook page about it. One viewer says, ‘Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzza, and New Years. What’s wrong with having a holiday parade to celebrate the diversity of Tulsa? Come on people. Step out of your tiny boxes…’” The new sponsor of the parade is a local Irish pub called McNellie’s. In a statement to Tulsa’s KTUL - the pub’s owner is proud of his participation. “We did so when it looked like no other sponsor was going to emerge and the parade would be in jeopardy. … Our mission has always been to make Tulsa a better place to live, and this seemed to fit right in with our company's mission.” The Christian Broadcasting Network points to a Rasmussen Reports poll -- finding 69 percent of Americans prefer the greeting “Merry Christmas.” “And if big business reflects the cultural mood, then this could mean something: A Christian advocacy group, Liberty Counsel, reports that major retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart have shifted. They are now allowing their employees to use the ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting.” So what do you think? Merry Christmas? Happy Holidays? Or does it even matter, as long as the spirit of the season lives on? Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy.
4 Dec 2010
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Transcript by Newsy BY TRACY PFEIFFER You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy In the United States, there are few cultural images as innocent as children excitedly building a snowman, and this time of year Idaho has plenty of them. But residents of Hayden, Idaho, were shocked to discover a snowman of a different spirit one morning. Neighbors say the snowman was shaped like a member of the Ku Klux Klan and holding a noose. It stood in a yard just 100 feet from a local elementary school. Outraged parents called authorities and the local news station to complain, and the story has generated national attention. (Source: KXLY) An anchor on Sacramento’s Fox affiliate KTXL calls attention to one detail from footage of the man’s house: “I just noticed a Confederate Flag hanging there as well, so that was interesting. So you got the Confederate Flag and perhaps the noose and maybe the top hat as well.” This detail -- and the snowman -- probably weren’t a surprise to the man’s neighbors. A self-identified white supremacist, he was previously profiled by local station KXLY for flying Aryan Nation and SS flags on his home and was once accused of giving out bullets on Halloween. He contends they were bullet casings. (Video: KXLY) After someone tried to knock over the snowman in question, the homeowner rebuilt it twice as big--towering 10 feet tall. He tells KXLY, he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. ELISEUSON: “It’s a snowman. I mean, it’s not--there’s nothing hateful about it that I can see.” ... DALL: “Why do you think people are offended?” ELISEUSON: “Hell if I know. They want to cause trouble.” A writer for Care2 says the incident has its ups and downs. “On the one hand it is tempting to ignore this story as the homeowner is clearly looking to provoke people and get attention. On the other though it is good to hear the neighbors stand up against this kind of display, even if there are limited tools for them to fight back against the homeowner.” After sheriffs deputies warned the man he could be facing a criminal complaint for hanging the noose, he tore the snowman down. The Spokesman-Review explains the Idaho law that would have applied here, which defines a public nuisance as: “...offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by an entire community or neighborhood, or by any considerable number of persons.” The homeowner says he isn’t done with his sculptures yet, and plans to build a new snowman in the shape of a Nazi soldier.
4 Dec 2010
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Transcript by Newsy BY AUSTIN ALONZO You're watching multisource world news analysis from Newsy Sudan is five weeks away from the scheduled start of a referendum to determine the independence of its oil-producing, resource-rich south. The decision could split the country in two and -- if mishandled, spark another period of violence. Southern Sudanese living in the north are headed back home en mass to vote in the referendum, but as the BBC reports, fear for the future is rising. “…people here are worried, and already they are starting to pack up their belongings, pack up everything in their house and prepare to move back down to the south. Some of them just so they can vote in the referendum, some of them are moving for good because they say they’re scared of what could happen in this country if they split in two.” The referendum comes at a time of high political tensions in Sudan. So far, groups in the north and south have failed to reach an agreement on sharing oil revenues and natural resources including millions of acres of fertile land, reserves of gold and Nile River Water. (Video from Al Jazeera) As Al Jazeera reports, southern Sudanese are well aware of the potential for conflict, but those seeking secession say, they aren’t going to back down. “The north has been benefiting from our oil for too long, if they try to steal it from us after we separate, we will fight them. We will even cut the pipelines.” The potential for conflict is very real in the ethnically diverse and resource-rich border region of Abyei (AH-BEE-AY) which lies along the 1956 colonial north-south border. The south claims rights to the region, but the north doesn’t want to concede any more territory to the south. The Christian Science Monitor reports that militants from both sides are pouring into the region - along with southern Sudanese returning home for the referendum. “The effect of these movements, and the increase in population in and around the militarized border area is unpredictable. Africa Confidential reported that Abyei youth returning from Khartoum were beaten at a SAF checkpoint along the way, even citing one incident of rape.” The Voice of America reports, in two weeks -- more than two million voters have registered in the south. It reports, the military build up and roving militants could interfere with voting, but plenty of other problems could keep the election from starting on time. VOA reports with less than 40 days till the election, the government has not found a company to design and print the ballot. January’s referendum could be just the first attempt to divide Sudan. Cairo’s Al Ahram Weekly predicts the volatile Darfur region could be the next to secede. “Darfur remains a hot spot where talk of using arms to topple the regime remains current. Observers also say that Darfur residents may also demand self-determination if a solution for the area is not found.” The referendum vote is scheduled for January 9th, but many close to the situation say violence could break out before then. Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy
4 Dec 2010
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